Honda redundancy bid has 320 takers

1:11pm Tuesday 19th March 2013

By Matthew Edwards

HUNDREDS have been accepted for a voluntary redundancy package as Honda looks to get rid of 800 staff.

More than 250 direct employees have been accepted for voluntary redundancy by the car manufacturer, with a further 70 indirect workers having expressed an interest.

Honda, based in South Marston, is hoping to fill all the redundancies required for direct staff – those who work directly on the cars – with voluntary redundancies by next week.

Time has been extended for indirect staff and managers with uptake not being as high as expected.

A spokesman for Honda said: “We have had more than 250 direct employees sign up to the voluntary redundancy package.

“There are more in the pipeline, but they have not been confirmed yet.

“We are hopeful we will be able to cover all the direct employees being made redundant through voluntary redundancy and this should be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.

“For indirect staff, we have extended the deadline to apply by a week to give people a longer opportunity to apply. People are coming forward and we have about 70 indirect that have expressed an interest at the moment.

“We have also extended the time for managers to apply to this weekend.

“We are hoping to have a good idea where we are after Easter, if not April at the latest.

“I would say we are more than halfway through the consultation process now and it is going well.”

Honda will be reducing production for the year starting April 2013 to 150,000 at the South Marston Plant. As a result of this, Plant One has already gone down to a single shift, with Plant Two doing the same this month.

They will also have four days of non-production in the week following Easter, as a way of dealing with the drop in production.

The task force that has been set up to help Honda employees deal with the redundancies and offer advice in finding a new job is said to be making progress.

“That relationship with the task force is going really well, with representatives coming in for a weekly meeting,” said the spokesman.

“They have started running workshops very much as signposting support to help people with job searches.”

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